A Few Words on Writing and Deadlines

I was asked a question the other day that I didn’t have an answer to. I was asked if I ever wrote just for pleasure without a deadline as I always set really strict deadlines for myself even when I’m writing my own projects.

The truth of the matter is that I don’t really write without a deadline any longer and my friend wondered if I had sucked the joy out of writing by constantly setting myself word goals. I can see why it would seem that way. Whenever there is a number or a deadline placed on something, it becomes a form of work.

For me though, the deadlines only stops me from making excuses when I get lazy (and I get lazy quite often). The joy in the writing still remains and the creation of a universe still can provide a rush like no other. Songs become connected to stories and there are faces which are forever engrained in my memory. The writing channels it and when I don’t write, even if it’s only just a couple hundred words, I find myself getting too drawn into the worlds which I have created. There is a disconnect when I stop writing that can’t be solved by any other medium. I cannot create music or art, watching or reading other people’s art does not allow me to find the release that writing creates.

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There is nothing more beautiful for me than watching a world take shape or the characters form. There’s nothing quite like that calm when the world begins to show its true colours or when I’m able to find a perfect song for the universe. Every story I create feeds into a larger universe which I watch take shape and there is nothing that I would trade it for. The problem is that when I don’t set the deadline, I can only think of the work that the writing process takes.

Every night I stay late to write and every morning when I wake up, I’m already thinking of what I will write after work has finished. I spend an minimum of eleven hours at work each day, but rather than dragging me down the deadlines lift me up. Each day, there is further progress on a story that I love and the expansion of a universe that I have poured my soul into. While the deadlines may seem harsh, they end up keeping me on track and I find myself looking forward to staying late more often than not so I can take one more step into the future.

I know that this might sound daft, but there are so many stories that I want to tell and even if I had the time to tell all of them, I wouldn’t have all the words. I find that a lot of time the way that I write doesn’t do justice to the images that I see inside my head. It would sound crazy to say that there are people who are taking form inside of my head, but there are and I love them the way that people probably love their children.

There are whole new stories to write, just waiting for me to finish the current one and I really, truly cannot wait for the opportunity.